Time Out Says
The décor is faux neoclassical, the kitchen is open and large pillars are evenly spaced throughout a large dining room.
A waiter immediately attends to us and is extremely personable and helpful – he offers suggestions on much of the menu. Following his advice we order the parmesan basket and shrimp and grouper dumplings, purely because his enthusiasm for the dishes is infectious.
A generous portion of fried seafood not dissimilar to scampi is presented in front of us with a tomato dipping sauce. The dumplings have prawn tails stick out of them, so we use these to pick up and dunk the dumplings in the sauce. The sauce is a fiery hot dip, we weren’t expecting it to be so hot. Luckily this is a pleasant surprise for us because we like a strong chili flavour, but it will be too much for some. The dumplings are a good texture, like miniature crab cakes, they’re moreish and before we realise we have eaten the entire portion.
The parmesan basket is colourful, mozzarella, asparagus, tomato and salad sit in an edible dish of toasted cheese. The ingredients are fresh and complement each other well, it’s not the most inventive dish in the world but we like all the ingredients together as well as separately, so we can only describe the plate as a success.
For mains we order the pan seared duck breast and buttered potatoes, and the cheese risotto. We also order a portion of steamed vegetable to share.
The duck breast comes rare as ordered, is sliced and served on the plate and served next to another generous portion of potatoes. Presentation could be better, but the rustic flavour of the potatoes does something to make up for it. We take a first bite into the duck and its delicious, but unfortunately the rareness of the meat and the fact the breast has been cut into slices means it’s getting cold quickly. We try to guzzle it down in an attempt to save the second half of the dish, but to no avail, by the time we get to the final third of the plate it’s stone cold which is a real shame.
The risotto isn’t as good as the duck, it’s heavy and doesn’t have any real flavour. We finish the portion but in truth the dish is forgettable.
We finish by sharing a rhubarb tart. The pastry is a fraction soft but the filling is good and the ice cream has good flavour.
Biscotti lacks the minute attention to detail needed to compete with the city’s top Italian restaurants, but our meal was mostly enjoyable and for its price we were satisfied we got good value for money.
The bill (for two):
Parmesan bucket Dhs55
Shrimp dumplings Dhs59
Duck breast Dhs80
Steamed veg Dhs25
Rhubarb tart Dhs40
Total (excl. service) Dhs319
By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff | 07 Oct 2014
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